World Alzheimer’s Day
Every September, people come together from all around the world to raise awareness and to challenge the stigma that persists around dementia. 21st September 2021 marks the 10th year of this vital awareness raising campaign.
Every year, Alzheimer’s Disease International creates a World Alzheimer Report that is a comprehensive source of global information on dementia. This year they are focusing on the crucial topic of diagnosing dementia. And to diagnose the disease, people should be aware of the common myths about dementia.
Common Myths about Dementia
First, let’s start with the symptoms of dementia:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation to time and place
- Poor or decreased judgement
- Problems keeping track of things
- Misplacing things
- Changes in mood and behaviour
- Trouble with images and spatial relationships
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
If you think that these problems are affecting your daily life, or the life of someone you know, you should talk to your doctor or seek further advice on specialist dementia care online. You can also learn about the importance of an early diagnosis.
Despite how prevalent dementia is in the UK, and the continued rise in diagnosis, there are still some common myths that people might not know about.
Myth 1: I’m experiencing memory loss. That means I have dementia.
Reality: As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss.
Many forms of dementia do not have memory loss as their first symptom. This can include experiencing any unexplained changes in mood, behaviour or ability.
Myth 2: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s.
Reality: This is one of the biggest common myths about dementia. Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 50s, 40s, and even 30s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s (also referred to as early onset). Research conducted shows that, in 2019, there were over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019). Within this, an estimated 42,000 people are living with young-onset dementia.
Myth 3: People with dementia become violent and aggressive.
Reality: Violence and aggression are not innate to dementia. If someone living with dementia is acting aggressively, try to understand what may be causing the behaviour. If it is possible, remove or adjust the presence of the problem before taking steps to help.
Myth 4: Flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: A theory linking flu shots to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease was proposed by a US doctor whose license was suspended by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. However, this has been disproved by much research.
In fact, several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and overall better health.
Myth 5: Dementia can be prevented.
Reality: There is no effective treatment that prevents dementia or stops its progression. While there are no treatments that can prevent dementia or reverse its effects, there are certain medications that are effective at managing symptoms.
There are also lifestyle choices that can even slow progression, this can include:
- Being physically active
- Being socially active
- Challenging your brain
- Eating healthily
- Making conscious and safe choices
- Managing stress
Contacting Stanfield Nursing Home
If you are seeking more advice on common myths about dementia, take a look at our other blog about common dementia myths. You can also check out our social media for daily updates. If you want more information on Stanfield Nursing Home then head to our website. Alternatively, you can call 01905 420 459 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.